Various feral cries echoed off in the distance as the citizens of Knothole stood ready to defend not just their home, but their last bastion of hope from the invading horde of mechanical creatures that was about to descend upon the small village of mobians. Men of all ages and species stood shoulder to shoulder along the boarders of the village, armed with weapons ranging from laser rifles salvaged from Swatbot remains to crudely made wooden clubs. Several lookout posts had been hastily converted into gunning platforms, each one housing one of several large plasma cannons they had managed to steal from a convoy the previous year with a couple mobians manning each post. The women and children were all gathered in the community hut at the center of the village, waiting for the worst but hoping for the best. As the cries of the velocibots steadily grew in the distance, a lone badger stepped forward from the group till he was a good twenty feet out in front of the ranks before turning to face the other mobians.
"My friends, the day we have all been dreading has finally arrived," said Sam solemnly as his gaze looked over the various mobians, each one's face set in stone as they all knew the fate that was about to befall them. "However, we will not go down without a fight. We have fought Robotnik for years now and I know we won't just roll over and die just because we're facing impossible odds." Several mobians in the crowd shouted their agreement. "Now then," he said as he turned back towards the source of the noise, seeing the sunlight of the morning glinting off the metallic face of one of the vile robotic creatures as it steadily approached them, followed by countless more of the mechanical beasts. "Let's show them just how dangerous a cornered prey can be!"
The entire crowd let out a battle cry as the plasma cannons in the lookout posts opened fire as light blue energy burst from the treetops, slamming into the front lines of the velocibot force as the blasts destroyed or damaged several of the robots. Salvo after salvo of plasma fire rained down at the approaching forces, laser fire from the handheld laser rifles sending ruby bolts of energy into the approaching machines as they continued marching forward. At first it looked as though the firepower they were unleashing was holding the enemy back, but it soon became apparent to Sam that even with as many casualties as they were causing, the robotic raptors were slowly but steadily gaining ground on them. It would only be a matter of time now before they would get close enough to attack them. And not long after that, the battle would be lost. In hand-to-hand, they simply wouldn't stand any chance against the melee based velocibots. And yet, there was a part of Sam that refused to believe that this would be the end of them. They had come too far, sacrificed too much to lose now. He reached out with his heart and clutched onto the belief for all he was worth, never wanting to let it go even as his rational side told him it was pointless.
For crying out loud! How much energy did he actually steal from me!? thought Sonic as he bounded off the right side of a thick tree trunk, barely missing being hit by one of Leviathan's energy blasts. So far, he'd managed to stay a step ahead of Leviathan, but he was reaching the limits of his endurance. Destroying an entire defense grid, followed immediately by his scuffle with Angel before she knocked him out cold, and then taking on Leviathan shortly after having regained consciousness while also straining to keep his hyper form active during the first part of the fight was taking its toll on him. This fact was not lost on Leviathan. He could distinctly tell that Sonic's stamina was running low. That much was evident in the fact that his reaction time was slowly getting worse the longer he continued to run away like this.
Leviathan couldn't help but grin to himself. This latest dodge by Sonic showed him that the hedgehog's reaction time was finally insufficient to dodge two blasts if they were fired as fast as possible. He glanced up ahead of where Sonic was, calculating the most likely path he would take to avoid the next blast fired at him. A split second later, Leviathan launched another attack from his mouth. Down below, Sonic could feel the quills on his back stiffen as the ball of energy came flying at him. Quickly darting to the left, he never even saw the second blast coming as it slammed into the ground just a couple of feet in front of him, exploding with enough force to blow him a good twenty feet back and into the trunk of a giant tree. Sonic couldn't help but curse at having been thrown into a tree not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions in the same fight, even while he lay there paralyzed from the pain shooting throughout his whole body.
"You are far too predictable hedgehog," said Leviathan as he landed next to Sonic's stunned body, pressing a clawed foot down on Sonic's back. Sonic grunted as he felt Leviathan apply enough pressure on his back to pin him in place, turning his head up to glare in defiance at the raptor.
"Don't think that you've won this thing yet Levi," spat Sonic. Leviathan only chuckled as he pressed down harder with his foot, clenching his toes to cause the claws on the ends of them to dig into Sonic's back, causing the hedgehog to cry out in pain.
"I don't think I have, I know I have," said Leviathan as he continued to apply more pressure with his foot. "Checkmate, Sonic." Sonic felt like his back was on fire from the pain that was shooting up his spine from the pressure of Leviathan's foot pressing down on it. At this rate, he was sure that it would break in a few more seconds. As the pain continued to steadily grow worse, he couldn't help but feel as though he had let everyone down, especially Angel. He knew that with his death, her life would once again become wrapped around Leviathan's icy fingers. A loud, feral cry broke him from his train of thought as he felt the weight of Leviathan violently forced off his back. Though the pain still kept him rooted to the ground on his hands and knees, he was able to move his head around to see why the raptor had stopped his actions.
"What on Mobius!?" whispered Sonic as gazed at the sight before him. Standing between him and Leviathan was a weird looking raptor that was covered from its tail to shoulders in glimmering violet metal with metal tubes running through its body in some places. Its chest was still tan flesh, but had two thick tubes running through it. Attached near the end of the tail was a giant three pronged clamp. Two small sheets of two inch thick metal that resembled the wings of a plane jutted from its shoulder blades. Its right eye was a beautiful emerald green while its left eye was replaced by a glowing red optic sensor set in an eye patch-like piece of blue metal. Around its neck was a pendant with a violet gemstone set inside it.
"What is the meaning of this!?" snarled Leviathan as his clawed hands curled into fists.
"I am sorry that I let it come to this," said the violet armored raptor hoarsely as it looked over at Sonic as he slowly started to get to his feet. "I never should have stood idly by as this monster destroyed everything good about our world." The raptor then reached its clawed hands up to its neck, slipping the pendant over its head and tossing it in front of Sonic. "Inside that pendant is the Timestone I was assigned to protect. Please, use it to stop Leviathan before he changed this world into the nightmare that it has become."
"You are a fool if you think I'm going to let you get away with all of this," hissed Leviathan. The other raptor merely closed its good eye, the other one winking out as if it too had become closed.
"You are the fool Leviathan. You believe yourself to be above all other things in this world, that the people of this planet are things to amuse yourself with. Even I am nothing more than a product of your sick and twisted mind," said the raptor, keeping its tone of voice perfectly calm and collected. Leviathan, however, was anything but calm as his energy poisoned mind rapidly began to lose itself to his growing anger at this act of insubordination.
"I rescued you from the edge of the cold void, restored your body with my superior understanding of bio-organic technology, gave you a brand new purpose in this world, and this is how you repay me!?" yelled Leviathan, his voice steadily growing louder as he rattled off to the violet armored raptor.
"Which is the only reason I ever obeyed you in the first place," said the raptor, its eyes still closed. "But when I saw a person from my old life and the way he reacted to what I had become, only then did I truly realize I had turned into every bit of a monster as you. And I refuse to be that monster anymore."
"Very well," said Leviathan softly as he closed his own eyes and glanced down at the ground slightly. "If this is the choice you want to make, then I will not stop you." He then looked back up, his eyes opening wide in anger as he shot from his spot at top speed towards the raptor. "But you will pay for your choice with your life!"
"Look out!" shouted Sonic as he tried to get back on his feet to help out the raptor. But what happened next caught Sonic completely off guard. At the very last second the raptor dodged to the side, swinging its tail around and catching Leviathan by the neck with the pronged clamp on the tip of its tail, slamming Leviathan into the ground as hard as it could. Only then did the raptor open its eyes again to stare down at Leviathan.
"Instinct always wins over emotion in a fight. Being a machine, you could never have known that, despite how much you believe yourself to know all there is to know," said the raptor softly.
"How dare you!?" shouted Leviathan as he struggled to get back to his feet. But the raptor held tight, managing to keep the mecha bot pinned by sheer force of willpower as Leviathan's chaos powered body began to fight to get back up. The raptor looked over at Sonic.
"Please leave this place immediately," it said as Sonic finally got back to his feet, picking up the pendant that was lying on the ground next to him.
"But what about you?" asked Sonic.
"Don't worry…about me. Now…go!" said the raptor as it strained to keep Leviathan pinned to the ground. Sonic started to move towards the raptor to try and help, but stopped the instant the raptor glared back at him with its good eye. Sonic slowly turned in the direction of the command tower. He then glanced back over his shoulder at the raptor, giving it a nod of both gratitude and understanding.
"Good luck," he said before he took off, rapidly fading out of view of the two combatants. The raptor's gaze continued to stare towards the direction Sonic had left in till a slowly growing fit of laughter from Leviathan caused it to turn its head back towards him.
"So you managed to buy him at most a minute of extra time to try and gather his allies together, assuming of course that they are still alive themselves. It still won't matter in the end. My armies are already at the doorsteps of all the remaining villages on Mobius. In a few minutes, the few possible strains of resistance will be crushed and this world will be under my full control till the end of time itself!" cried Leviathan. The mecha bot watched with a smug smile on his face, expecting to see the horrified look of despair work its way onto the raptor's face. But instead, the raptor merely smiled back at him, much to both his amazement and puzzlement.
"You forget…I've been at your side…for years now. And as such…I've had quite a bit of time…to observe you and learn…the secrets to your design," said the raptor as it struggled to keep the massive mecha bot under its control. It was only when the raptor said this that Leviathan noticed something he hadn't before now. One of the prongs of the clamp was pressed firmly against the gemstone set in his collar. And with the amount of pressure that was being applied to it from the clamp, small hairline cracks were beginning to form all along its surface. Leviathan's smug look instantly turned into the same horrified look he had expected to see on the raptor's face.
"No! You idiot!" shouted Leviathan as he redoubled his efforts to get free. But at the angle he was being pinned to the ground at, he couldn't get enough leverage to get back on his feet. And the chaos energy flowing through his body was of no use to him either, as he had specifically designed the armor of the raptor that was now pinning him to be immune to the negative effects of the emeralds' power. He couldn't even align himself for a shot of energy from his mouth such was the way his head was facing.
"It all ends here Leviathan," said the raptor as it applied even more pressure to its clamp, the hairline cracks on the gemstone growing more rapidly and the current ones already there widening every second.
"Stop this you fool! If you crush that gem, all of the chaos energy that's currently in my systems will be released all at once! The blast will be large enough to reduce this whole area to ashes! You'll kill us both!" shouted Leviathan.
"True…"said the raptor softly as it looked back towards the direction Sonic had taken off in. A brief image of Angel flashed through its mind, remembering the short conversation it had with the pink furred echidna. It then closed its eyes again. "But only one of us…will die with honor," it whispered before finally squeezing the clamp on its tail tip as hard as possible. Leviathan let out a feral cry of anger as he felt the clamp tighten on the gemstone, the cracks finally giving way as the gem shattered into dozens of shards.
The air was filled with the smell of molten slag and burnt foliage as Sam watched the velocibot army continue to gain ground little by little against the barrage of firepower the villagers of Knothole were unleashing upon them. Already they had destroyed countless dozens of the beastly machines, but they seemed to have no end to their number. His gaze turned towards the makeshift gun towers, realizing that they wouldn't last much longer as smoke began to issue forth from the machines, evidence of their power cores overloading from the nonstop salvos they were unleashing. A quick glance at his own laser rifle's diagnostics told him that even their handheld firearms wouldn't last much longer either, their power cells all but drained from their continuous use.
"Blast it!" whispered Sam under his breath as he looked back up, firing off another shot from his rifle at a velocibot that was only a dozen or so yards away.
"We can't hold them off any more!" shouted an older tiger as he blasted a velocibot as it was rearing back on its legs to pounce, the robotic raptor instead falling onto its side as it twitched from the laser shot.
"Then we'll die trying!" shouted Sam. A small explosion behind him caused him to look back towards the lookout towers, his heart turning to ice as he saw one of the plasma weapons engulfed in flames as its power core had finally reached the breaking point and overheated. One after another, the other plasma weapons began to fail almost in rapid succession as each one's power core overheated, leaving the weapons as nothing more than molten flasks of metal. Sam cursed under his breath as he turned back towards the tide of velocibots that was bearing down on their small village. I'm sorry Sonic…Tails…Lily…We tried our best, but there are just too many of them, he thought as the laser rifles also began to stop working one after the other.
As the laser fire subsided, the velocibots moved into rank and file positions. Every mobian stood their ground as the front velocibots reared back on their powerful legs, leaping forward to deliver the final blow to whoever was unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of their attack. But as the velocibots began to fall towards the group, Sam noticed something was wrong with them as their trajectory arc was carrying them short of the villagers. With several loud clangs, all of the velocibots that had charged forward landed in all sorts of awkward positions, each one unmoving as they lay on the ground, their eyes pitch black.
"Wh-what just happened?" asked a young hyena. Suddenly, a whole chorus of clanging noises echoed throughout the forest as the entire army of velocibots all fell onto their sides, each one completely deactivated. Sam stared wide eyed at the display before him, unwilling to believe he was seeing what he was seeing.
"I…I have no idea," was all he said in response.
Slasher let out a pained cry as she was slammed belly first into the roof of one of the larger building structures by the winged red velocibot, the robotic raptor landing with full force onto Slasher's back, causing her to let out an even louder cry of pain as she felt several ribs give way from the force her chest hit the cement surface with. A couple blocks down the holographic street, Saber finally succumbed to the black velocibot as it plowed him back first into the side of a brick walled building, the young raptor also letting out his own cry of pain as he fell to the sidewalk, unable to even move from the paralyzing pain that now coursed through his whole body from the blow. As Slasher heard her student and best friend's anguished cry, she tried desperately to get back to her feet, but before she could even attempt to will herself to move from the pain that was in her chest, a clawed foot came down on top of her head, pinning it in place as a snarl sounded from its owner and the long dagger claw on the foot lightly brushed the back of her scalp. It was then that Slasher knew it was over. They had lost.
"Do it…" was all she whispered. But the final blow never came. Suddenly, Slasher felt the weight of the robotic raptor literally fall off her as the velocibot tumbled onto its side, remaining unmoving as its eyes blinked a few times before completely fading out. Down below, the black velocibot suffered a similar fate as it too fell onto its side and remained unmoving as Saber slowly got back onto his feet before he wobbled and fell back to the sidewalk, his body unable to summon enough strength to stand. Slasher slowly got back to her own feet, a sharp pain shooting through her left shoulder area telling her that more than likely the bones connecting her left wing to her body had broken fairly close to the base when the velocibot had landed on her. She carefully moved to the edge of the building to gaze down at Saber. "You okay?" she hollered down at him.
"Dandy…" he answered, taking a second to regain a little more breath before he hollered back up at her. "How about you?"
"Been better," she said, gazing around as she tried to find some trace of Angel or Lily. In all the chaos caused by the fight, she had lost track of the two mobians and their opponent. Their scents were still in the air, that much she could tell, but she couldn't tell from which direction meaning she couldn't pinpoint where they were at. Like either of us would be much help in our condition, she thought to herself as she tried to listen for any subtle sounds to hone in on.
Cody gave a slight grunt of annoyance as he stood next to the main control console inside the control room. Several wires were protruding out of his finger tips and were connected to the console, his eyes closed in concentration as the AI matrix half of his consciousness struggled to get a lock on the randomizing password as it cycled through all its combinations. But every time he would get within two symbols of getting the code locked in, it would randomize itself again, forcing him to start over.
"Any chance you could speed this up?" asked Tails as he kept an eye on the turbolift. Cody looked back over his shoulder with a glare.
"If you think you can do this any faster than I can, be my guest," he huffed before returning his attention to the task at hand. Tails glanced back at him with his own glare.
"Well no need to bite my-" was all he managed to say before a deafening blast sounded from outside, the force of it shattering the reinforced windows and spraying shards of glass all over the room as Tails barely ducked behind another console in time to avoid getting cut to ribbons by the flying shards. "What on Mobius was that!?" he cried as both of he and Cody stared out the broken windows at the massive ball of fire and lightning that had consumed the entire forest off in the distance. Slowly, the ball began to dissipate as the energy that was feeding it was burnt off.
"I have no idea, but whatever it is it's giving off one heck of an energy signature, though I think the worst of it is over," said Cody as he used his sensors to try and figure out what was causing the phenomenon. Suddenly, he heard a loud click sound in his head. He returned his attention to his previous task and discovered that his AI matrix had finally locked onto the code and was now in the process of undoing the final safety locks on the base's power core. As the final lock was released, however, the console shot a burst of electricity up the wires that was connecting Cody to the mainframe, zapping him hard enough to throw him a good ten feet back and onto the ground as he let out a cry of pain.
"Are you alright?" asked Tails as he ran over and knelt down next to the robian hedgehog. Cody slowly got up into a sitting position, holding his head with his left hand, which was smoking slightly from the burnt wires hanging off his finger tips.
"I think so. What a blast though," he said as Tails helped him back to his feet. "If that had been Nicole, I have a feeling you'd have been lucky to salvage anything from her."
"Sure looked like it was a powerful zap," said Tails. A sudden dark blue glow drew their attention towards the ceiling as a hole opened in the middle of it, a complex looking machine slowly descending from the hole. Nestled within the inner workings of the machine sat the indigo Timestone, several electrodes connected to it that ran along wires that connected directly to the machine. Tails started to raise his hand towards the gemstone before Cody stopped him, grasping onto the fox's wrist.
"Let me. If this thing's gonna spring any more traps, I'd rather be the one to get hit than you. Machinery tends to fair better than flesh does," he said.
"Good point," said Tails as Cody reached into the machine, grasping onto the Timestone. Carefully, he removed it from its housing, expecting to receive another power jolt like before. But nothing happened as he pulled the gem out of the machine to hold up before the two of them. All of a sudden, all the computer screens winked out as their power source was stripped from them, emergency lights springing to life as the base's backup generator kicked in.
"I guess that's our cue to go back and help out the others," said Cody as he tossed the gem over to Tails who stuffed it into the pocket of his jeans. Little did they know that the fight below them had already ended and that the sight they would find would forever be burned into their minds.
Angel bit back a cry of pain as one of Robo Knuckles' dagger claws grazed her upper left arm as she tried to deflect a blow aimed at her chest, a small trail of blood beginning to drip from the fresh wound as she fell to her knees in pain. While she was still holding her own against the mechanized echidna, she knew she couldn't hold him off much longer. Already she had suffered several small cuts similar to the one she had just sustained on her arm from trying to deflect his attacks and they were beginning to take their toll as the pain from the wounds began to overpower the adrenalin that was coursing through her veins. The simple truth was that in order for her to deflect a killing blow, she had to hit his arms and not the claws, which jutted a good several inches out in front of his hands. This made it all but impossible to avoid getting grazed by them as she knocked his arms away.
"What's wrong, little girl?" asked Robo Knuckles as he sneered at her. "The game a little tougher than you thought it would be?" Angel only glared defiantly at the mecha bot, wanting nothing more than to rip his head off if only to shut up his incessant taunting. Slowly she stood back up on her feet, pushing down the pain she felt as she retook a defensive stance.
"Not a chance," she hissed. "I'm not about to lose to some fake echidna." Robo Knuckles only laughed as he crossed his arms over his chest.
"Well, I'll give you this. If nothing else you have been quite entertaining," he said as he took a fighting stance of his own, facing slightly off center of the two of them. "Unfortunately for you, my interest has grown weary." Angel's eyes narrowed slightly as she realized she had never seen him take such a stance before. Her eyes then shot open wide as she faintly heard a low humming sound emitting from in front of her, realizing all too late as to why he had taken the stance he had. Robo Knuckles' thrusters fired as he shot forward, slamming full force into the mobian with the side of his body and drilling her into the side of one of the holographic brick buildings. Angel tried to cry out as her body screamed in pain, but the wind had been completely knocked out of her, leaving only a small gasp to leave her mouth as she slumped down into a crumpled heap at the foot of the brick wall, Robo Knuckles watching with a smile set on his face from the street as he landed on the artificial concrete road.
"I hope now you understand that you could never have defeated me even on your best day. You forget, I've fought with you, trained you as per Leviathan's instructions to be the fighter you grew into," he said as his gleeful expressions turned sour. "To think that he would hold you in higher regard than me…" Angel slowly lifted herself into a sitting position by sheer force of will, her body unwilling to move any more than that as the pain from the blow she'd just received left her whole body tingling.
"If it makes any difference, I never wanted to be held in a high regard by that monster after I found out the truth," said Angel, her voice barely a whisper as she was just beginning to get her breath back. Robo Knuckles lifted off the street, rising slowly into the air as he glared down at the pink furred echidna.
"It doesn't," he said in a low tone, his thrusters firing as he flew straight at Angel, his clawed hands aimed right for her heart. Angel slammed her eyes shut, hearing the sound of metal against flesh, but strangely it was also accompanied by metal against metal. What was more, she didn't feel any new pain aside from what she was already experiencing. She quickly shot her eyes back open, only to gape in horror at the sight she saw.
"No…" she whispered as she gazed at the back of a brown vest, two jagged points of metal slightly jutting forth from the cloth as blood slowly dripped off their tips. "Lily!"
"Hey Angel…" the magenta furred hedgehog said hoarsely as she stood over the pink echidna. "I couldn't let you…have all the fun, could I?" she said with a faint laugh. Her breath caught in her throat as the laugh ended, her body falling limp to the floor as she dropped Angel's sword, now lodged right through the middle of Robo Knuckles' head as he too fell to the ground in a motionless heap. Despite the pain she was still feeling from being slammed into the wall, Angel got to her knees and crawled over next to the female hedgehog, leaning over her face.
"Why did you do that?" she whispered to Lily, grasping the hedgehog's hand in her own.
"People do crazy things…to save those that they care about. Besides, I owed you one…for what happened in the prison downstairs," said Lily softly as she looked up at Angel.
"You idiot…" whispered Angel, struggling to keep herself composed, but failing miserably at it as tears started to form in her eyes. "You didn't need to do this. It should've been me at the end of those claws. Me! You hear me!?" she shouted, tears now streaming down her face. Lily only smiled as she looked back up towards the overcast sky that was being projected by the room. She could feel herself starting to slip away, the amount of blood she was loosing already being past a critical amount.
"It's okay…I chose this path. Not you…not Leviathan…me," she whispered. "In the end, that's all that matters to me." She then looked back over at Angel, her smile widening even further. "I'm glad I got to know you…if even for just a little bit."
"So am I," said Angel as she felt Lily's breathing come to a stop, her hand going limp in the echidna's grasp. She gently placed Lily's hand back to the floor, gazing upon the magenta hedgehog, her face still having a hint of a smile to it even in death. "You were so much stronger than you gave yourself credit for," she whispered as she stood back up, most of the pain from being rammed into the brick wall now gone, only to be replaced by a much deeper hurting. A hurting she had not felt in years. "If Leviathan had given me the chance to regain what I had lost, I'm not so sure I'd have been able to stop myself." A series of metallic clangs echoing off in the distance drew her attention away from Lily, unsure how to explain what had happened to Cody and Tails as she saw the two of them approaching from down the simulated street.
Sonic's mind raced as he ran as fast as he could back towards Leviathan's base. Just what in the world had that creature been that had saved him? Obviously it was some kind of raptor, but it looked too organic to be a velocibot. And the fact that it had spoken also gave doubts to it being a totally mechanical creature. Sonic glanced down at the trinket he held in his left hand, the violet Timestone glowing softly from its resting place inside the pendant. Well, whatever was going on, it was obvious that the creature didn't want him anywhere near where the two of them were going to fight. As he burst forth from the edge of the woods, Sonic came to a screeching halt as a thought crossed his mind. Comet's still in the forest! his mind shouted at him as he shot back into the foliage, calling out for the female chao. It only took a few seconds of searching to find where the little chao was hiding, but as soon as she had flown down into Sonic's arms, a deafening explosion erupted from near the center of the forest.
"What on Mobius!?" shouted Sonic as he looked back over his shoulder at the source of the sound, seeing a wall of fire and electricity sailing towards the two of them. A second deafening sound rang through the edge of the forest as Sonic blasted out of the forest at full speed, Comet taking shelter in his backpack to protect herself from the g-force caused by Sonic using his top speed. A split second after Sonic had exited the forest, the giant ball of chaos energy swallowed the very area they had just been. Sonic glanced back over his shoulder, seeing that the energy was coming to a stop after expanding only a few hundred meters out of the forest. He skidded to a stop, Comet's head poking out of his backpack. "What in the world caused that?" he asked.
"I know…" said Comet softly as she flew out of Sonic's backpack and stood on his shoulder. "A powerful surge of chaos energy was released all at once, resulting in the massive explosion you see before you."
"Could anything survive that kind of blast?" asked Sonic as the ball of fire and lightning slowly started to recede back towards its source. Comet shook her head.
"I do not see how anyone could," she answered. She thought about it for another couple of seconds before looking back up at Sonic. "At least…nothing mortal could." Sonic's eyes narrowed slightly.
"Then there's a chance Leviathan's still alive," he said. "But even if he is alive, I doubt he could pull himself together anytime real soon. I say we go check on the others and then go back and see if Levi bit the big one or not after that fireball dies out."
"I agree. I wish to make sure my mistress is still okay," said Comet. Sonic picked the chao off his shoulder and cupped her in his arms.
"I'm not so worried about her. She's a tough cookie. I'm more worried about everyone else," he said before he took off for the command tower, kicking up a cloud of dust in his wake.